Cover photo for Ruth Joy Neilson's Obituary
Ruth Joy Neilson Profile Photo

Ruth Joy Neilson

August 1, 1931 — April 6, 2022

Ruth Joy Neilson

Ruth Joy Neilson was born on August 1st, 1931 in the small town of Cannonville, Utah—just east of Bryce Canyon National Park. Her parents Jennie Henderson and Adelbert Stock loved the name Ruth. Joy did not.

Joy was the youngest of 10 children. She married her sweetheart Shirl on May 28th, 1948. Together they had four children: Bruce, Rodney, Lori, and Cheri. They raised their children in North Hollywood, California, and together operated an automotive business in Los Angeles. In 1958, Shirl lost his leg in an accident. To help support the family, Joy earned her license and set up a salon in their home.

In 1975, they moved to St. George, Utah. Joy worked at the public library and loved binding and fixing books. She had a great love of reading and spent the last few years listening to all her favorite books again and again. Joy was also a volunteer at Dixie Regional Hospital in the ER. She loved serving others. She was a great cook and enjoyed entertaining. She was known for making brunch for her grandkids and their friends, and we all looked forward to her pies. Joy was a quilter and loved to crochet. Most of her handwork was shared as gifts to others and will continue to remind us of her for years to come.

Shirl and Joy loved their years spent gardening at their Pine Valley home. They had an amazing garden and loved sitting on their porch enjoying the views. Joy spent many years helping to raise and nurture her grandchildren. She played a vital role in each of their lives. She was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and especially loved her time spent as primary president. She also spent time volunteering at the Utah Daughters of the Pioneers Museum.

To Joy’s great and great-great-grandchildren, she is known for throwing luxurious tea parties, popping the best popcorn and making delicious food. She consistently complimented all those around her and was so proud of her family. She was affectionate and loving to all of her “kids,” which included many friends, family, and neighbors. The last few years she spent in Draper, Utah being cared for by her daughter Lori. She loved being on “the farm,” taking in the beautiful mountain views, and enjoying nearby family. Her dog Maggie was her best friend and most loyal companion.

Joy is preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Shirl, as well as her sons Bruce, Rodney, and son-in-law David. She is survived by her daughters Lori (Dan), Cheri (Scott), and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on April 23rd at 11 am at the St. George 3rd Ward, located at 200 W. 500 N., St. George, Utah 84770. A viewing will be held at 10 am. The interment will be at St. George Cemetery immediately following the funeral.

The funeral can be viewed live at

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

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